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Virus Genes. 2011 Aug;43(1):6-12. doi: 10.1007/s11262-011-0600-1. Epub 2011 Apr 2.

Molecular detection of genogroup I sapovirus in Tunisian children suffering from acute gastroenteritis.

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Laboratory of Infectious Diseases and Biological Agents, Faculty of Pharmacy, 5000, Monastir, Tunisia.


This study investigated the prevalence of sapovirus infections in children with acute gastroenteritis in Monastir region, Tunisia, from January 2003 to April 2007. Sapovirus was characterized by sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the partial polymerase gene. From 788 fecal specimens tested, 6 (0.8%) were positive for sapovirus, of these, 4 (66.7%) were monoinfections. All sapovirus positive samples were detected in outpatient, contrary to norovirus which was significantly more frequent in hospitalized children than in outpatients (14.5 vs. 9.5%, P = 0.03). The mean age of children with sapovirus infections was 11 ┬▒ 5.56 months (range 6-19 months). Sapovirus isolates were detected in March and between September and December 2003. Fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dehydration were not observed in patients with sapovirus infections. Analysis of nucleotide and amino acid sequences revealed that all 6 Tunisian sapovirus strains clustered in the GGI/1 genotype and strains were identical in the region sequenced, sharing 90.2% nucleotide identity with the reference strain Sapporo/82/JP (U65427). This represents the first finding of sapovirus infections in North Africa and especially in Tunisia. The data indicate that, contrary to norovirus which can cause severe diarrhea and is an important etiologic agent in hospitalized cases, sapovirus causes mild gastroenteritis in Tunisian children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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